Hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers are constantly searching for new ways to decrease bad debt and maximize their reimbursement. As they continue this process, it's imperative that they can identify which patients are true self-pay and which patients are self-pay after insurance. If they are self-pay after insurance they will have a high-deductible plan and still owe a large sum of money after coverage.
Patients who present themselves as true self-pay do not always necessarily stay in that category, these patients may eventually purchase health coverage or become eligible for Medicaid benefits. If this occurs, healthcare providers must be aware of these changes.
Detecting this hidden coverage can be a huge challenge, especially with the uncertainty within the healthcare industry. However, there are ways to detect if self-pay patients have hidden health coverage;
1. Data Leveraging
Today's technological landscape has proven to be very fruitful to the healthcare industry. Your healthcare organization should be taking advantage of the newest technological trends and implement sound processes that allow you to see if you've treated a patient before or if the patient is in your network. This helps you ensure minimal data loss while maximizing visibility.
2. Modern Registration and Check-In Process
Having a registration process that is modern and assists your patients online before they walk into the doors makes it easier to proactively identify patients who present as true self-pay but are actually self-pay after insurance.
3. Technology for Probability
You should also look into how to engage with your patients to secure payments and your patients' propensity to pay. Your patients' preferences include understanding whether they respond best to a text message, an electronic message (i.e. email), or a properly timed and easy to understand the patient statement.
4. Market Build vs. Buy Analysis
Healthcare providers have a seemingly endless amount of solutions made available to them that can detect hidden coverage. Let's face it, human process and intervention won't catch everything. Sifting through and doing market analysis for products that could help your organization collect on and identify self-pay patients should be a top priority.
5. Offer Flexible Payment Options
Making it easier for your patients to pay you is a no-brainer. The more flexible and patient-centric your payment plans are the happier your patients will be to pay you. Additionally, creating and establishing easy-to-use landing pages for online bill payment will further enhance their experience with your services and increase the likelihood of the collection.
The self-pay patient landscape can be challenging. But by understanding how to identify your patients accordingly, you'll be able to get more control over your accounts receivable and get paid what is owed to you in a timely and correct manner.